Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairpserson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is in no hurry to unveil her vice presidential running mate, with the announcement possibly to be delayed until late October, Tsai campaign spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said yesterday.
The Tsai camp faces no pressure in making an announcement — highly anticipated by the media and DPP supporters — for a number of reasons, Hsu said. The momentum of the presidential race appears to have tipped in Tsai’s favor after her campaign released the party’s 10-year policy guidelines two weeks ago, putting President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election in January’s presidential poll, on the defensive, she said.
The DPP will follow through on this success with another policy offensive next month, when Tsai is scheduled to release her policy white papers, Hsu said.
With Tsai also planning to make a nine-day trip to the US in the middle of next month, the DPP’s upcoming party anniversary and the postponed annual party congress, Tsai campaign officials want to ensure that announcing her running mate will be a “separate climax in the campaign,” Hsu said.
That means the Tsai campaign does not rule out making the announcement in October if it decides that is the best time, Hsu said.
Tsai has begun to hold discussions with prospective running mates from a short list, starting with her priority candidates, Hsu said, but “no deal has been made yet.”
“Regardless of speculation, Tsai will be the solitary and final decision-maker,” she said, adding that her office believed that Tsai would pick the best candidate for the campaign.
Hsu also discouraged the media from speculating that Tsai would choose former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who has reiterated that he has no intention of serving as anyone’s running mate.
“It is not fair [to Su] and it would hurt his feelings,” she said.
Earlier yesterday, DPP spokesperson Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) denied a media report quoting former DPP legislator Kuo Cheng-liang (郭正亮) as saying that Su was the No. 1 pick among six possible candidates in a DPP public opinion poll conducted last month.
Chuang said the DPP has never conducted public opinion polls on who should be Tsai’s running mate.